East Carolina Pirates (1-0) at South Carolina Gamecocks (0-1)
|Date & Time||Saturday September 6, 2014, 7:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: South Carolina Gamecocks -16.5 -- Over/Under:
The South Carolina Gamecocks and the East Carolina Pirates face off on Saturday in Columbia in week two college football action.
The South Carolina Gamecocks were double-digit favorites in their week one game against Texas A&M but they were blown out of their own stadium by the visitors. South Carolina’s offense simply wasn’t good enough and the defense had no answers. QB Dylan Thompson completed just 50 percent of his passes for 366 yards with four touchdowns and an interception but it wasn’t close to being good enough. Brandon Wilds and Mike Davis were disappointing rushing the football for a combined 60 yards and no scores. Nick Jones had five receptions and two touchdowns and Pharoh Cooper had three catches and a touchdown to lead the Gamecocks receivers. South Carolina’s defense was shredded and tackled poorly but Chris Moody led the way with eight tackles and Brison Williams had seven tackles. We can be sure Steve Spurrier’s team had a rough week of practice.
The East Carolina Pirates opened the season against FCS North Carolina Central but they took care of business in dominant fashion. ECU got it done on both sides of the ball and while their game was a mismatch on paper, they translated that to the football field. The East Carolina offense put up 52 points and 582 yards while the defense allowed just 174 yards total. QB Shane Carden completed over 70 percent of his passes with three touchdowns before giving way to Kurt Benkert. ECU called the dogs off but Marquez Grayson rushed for 78 yards and Anthony Scott had 61 yards and a touchdown. Isaiah Jones had 10 receptions for 150 yards to lead the ECU receivers and Justin Hardy had eight receptions and two touchdowns. Zeek Bigger led the East Carolina defense with 11 tackles, Montese Overton had had two tackles for a loss, and Demetri McGill had five tackles. Ruffin McNeill knows his team is walking into a hornet’s nest but he will have them ready.
South Carolina is 5-0 against the spread against a team with a winning record, 4-1 against the spread in their last five non-conference games, and 5-2 against the spread in their last seven games. East Carolina is 5-1 against the spread against a team with a losing record, 5-1 against the spread in their last six games, and 5-14 against the spread following a win.
South Carolina’s problems run deeper than facing a hot QB they didn’t account for, their own QB didn’t look good and injuries in the backfield have hurt the running game, The Gamecocks defense didn’t tackle well and the coverage was poor as well as just no pass rush. ECU isn’t going to be backing down here and I expect the Pirates to make a game of it and compete down to the end with a chance to win outright.
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